Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Franciscan Retreat Notes-Take Up Your Cross

Franciscan Sisters of Christian Charity Year of Faith Vocation Discernment Retreat February 22-24, 2013 continued Pope Benedict XVI's purpose of the year of faith: "to give fresh impetus to the mission of the whole Church to lead human beings out of the wilderness in which they often find themselves to the place of life, friendship with Christ that gives us life in fullnes. It is a summons to an authentic and renewed conversion to the Lord." (Porta Fidei 6)

We also looked for guidance and inspiration from St. Francis' text Mt 16:24: "If anyone wishes to come after me let him deny himself, take up his cross and follow me."

St. Bonaventure's writings were a valuable weekend resource:

...the one who desires to give herself to Christ must put aside, forget everything else, and enter into the secrecy of her own heart.

We prayed with these 'Bonaventurian' words written to women religious:

Draw near, O handmaid, with loving steps to Jesus wounded for you, to Jesus crowned with thorns, to Jesus nailed to the wood of the Cross.

Gaze with the Blessed Apostle St. Thomas, not merely on the print of the nails in Christ's hands; be not satisfied with putting your finger in the holes made by the nails in His hands; neither let it be sufficient to put your hand into the wound in His side; but enter bodily by the door in His side and go straight up to the very Heart of Jesus. There, burning with love for Christ Crucified, be transformed into Christ.

Fastened to the Cross by the nails of the fear of God, transixed by the lance of the love of your inmost heart, pierced through and through by the sword of the tenderest compassion, seek for nothing else, wish for nothing else, look for consolation in nothing else except in dying with Christ on the Cross. Then, at last, will you cry out with Paul the Apostle: With Christ I am nailed to the Cross. I live, now not I, but Christ lives in me. (Gal 2:19-21)

Was there any part of the retreat especially appreciated? View the comments to hear from the retreatants themselves.

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Invitation on World Consecrated Life Day to Vocation Discernment Retreat

As the Catholic Church invites reflection on the Consecrated Life with today's Presentation of the Lord feast, Franciscan Sisters of Christian Charity take this opportunity to offer two invitations. First, we invite you to reflect on the topic of consecration in the light of  our own Constitutions. Second, we invite you to experience Franciscan Consecrated Life with us at our Motherhouse, Holy Family Convent, Manitowoc, WI.

1. Here's a text on consecration from our Documents:
In a free response of love to the call of God, we enter more intimately into a covenant relationship with Him through our vowed life in the Church. By professing the evangelical counsels of chastity, poverty and obedience, we follow Christ, virginal and poor, Who redeemed and sanctified us by obedience unto death. Thus, united with Him through likeness to His life and death, we can rise to a new selfless love in Him.

By our vows we uniquely liberate ourselves from the principal obstacles to love-a divided heart, the fascination of material things, and the tendency to pride: we free ourselves for greater love for God and for all mankind.

2.  Experience being with us while discerning your own call from God. Our next vocation discernment retreat is February 22-24, 2013. You will not be alone. There are already young women ages 18-35-like yourself-registered.

Click here to learn more.